Abel Prize
Prof Karen Uhlenbeck, the recipient of the Abel Prize in 2019, becoming the first woman to win the maths prize. Photo: Andrea Kane/AFP/Getty Images

Professor Karen Keskulla Uhlenbeck of the University of Texas at Austin, USA has been named the 2019 Abel Prize winner, the first woman to bag the maths prize in its 16 year history.

The 76 year old US mathematician received recognition from the Norwegian based international maths prize, with the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters saying Prof. Uhlenbeck deserved the award “for her pioneering achievements in geometric partial differential equations, gauge theory and integrable systems, and for the fundamental impact of her work on analysis, geometry and mathematical physics.”

According to an announcement on the Abel Prize award website, Prof Uhlenbeck will receive the award from Norway’s King Harald V during a ceremony in Oslo on May 21.

The award is named in honour of Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel and carries with it a Ksh71.6 million cash prize.

Beyond becoming the first woman to win the award, Prof Uhlenbeck joins a long list of Americans to clinch the maths prize.

First awarded in 2003, the award has seen 19 previous winners.

This article has been updated to reflect an accurate conversion of the6 million Norwegian Krone Abel Prize cash prize.

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